8 Minutes Award-Winning Short Film @manhattanshort

Last night I went to our local indie movie theatre in Boise, Idaho and watched the Manhattan Short Film Festival. It’s amazing how many passionate directors, producers, screenwriters, and actors are out there that are unknown (at least here in the US) but producing great work. It was an amazing and enjoyable evening!

Typically I’ve been a Hollywood-only kind of movie watcher. Big blockbuster films and films made from books I’ve read are my favorites. But then at WorldCon I got to know a screenwriter for several indie films. As I’ve helped here and there in the process of editing the English subtitles and copy for the short film 8 Minutes, I’ve seen how creative, passionate, professional, and persistent the crew is. I’m humbled and honored to have been able to watch the process of bringing their vision from paper to screen. I hope they go far and make many more movies, as they are a talented group destined to do great things.

-Heather

8 Minutes Facebook page

Manhattan Short Film Festival

@manhattanshort

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Boeing: a Seattle Adventure


One of my goals is to visit as many space museums and launch centers that I can around the United States and worldwide. It’s just a passion of mine, and a great motivation and inspiration for my writing.

I lived north of Everett, Washington for many years and never realized what an impact the Boeing company had on our state, our nation, and on air and space travel. In April I visited the Future of Flight & Boeing Tour in Mukilteo. I’m not sure what I was expecting. I knew they made airplanes. I knew that it was one of the main employers in the area.

What I did not expect was just how fascinating the history of the company is, and just how immense the Boeing campus is today. Unless you see and experience it in person yourself, it really is hard to imagine.

Last year was Boeing’s 100 year celebration! July 15, 1916 two men started a company because they believed they could build a better airplane. William E. Boeing and his friend talked the pilot of a small propeller plane (a one-seater) to allow them to hang on to the wings while the plane took off and flew around the Seattle area. They were thereafter addicted to air flight and decided to learn more about building airplanes.

I highly recommend the Boeing Tour to anyone interested in air or space travel or engineering, or just interested in a mind-blowing experience.

The buildings where the 700 series airplanes are built are absolutely huge. After taking a bus to the buildings, we walked through underground tunnels and then took a cargo lift up to a viewing area that looked over the whole building. The main building is the largest building in the world, by volume. It is incredible to be up above the thousands of workers putting together the airplanes. You can watch as around TEN huge airplanes are being built. Can you imagine? A building that can hold that many 747 or 767 planes!

You can look across this field of partially-built planes, tools, and scaffolding and see several stories of windows that show offices, restaurants and coffee shops. I think they said there are three restaurants and ten coffee shops inside the building for the employees. And of course fourteen ping pong tables that are scattered around the area. Boeing is big on the importance of their hard-working employees getting exercise and taking breaks from the intense concentration that is needed to build these computerized flying machines.

A lesser known fact is that Boeing built the 16 ton Destiny Module (I’m standing in front of a model of it in the picture above), which is the American research laboratory now part of the International Space Station. It was launched to the ISS in 2001 aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis.

These are the places and things that you can experience today that years ago were only an interesting storyline in a science fiction novel. This is why I love science and science fiction and why I am passionate about teens and people of all ages learning more science and working toward a future in space. We are living in a rapidly evolving technological world, and we need more dreamers and innovators like William E. Boeing.

-Heather

Anxiety and Waiting for the Editor

The End

I love writing the first draft of a book. It’s my favorite part of the process. So when I get to The End I go through withdrawals of a sort. That sense of urgency, that daily need to finish one more chapter, is over with. It feels like I’ve reached the peak of the mountain and am looking down the other side. I’ve accomplished the goal, made it to the top, finished the book. Now What?

Editing!

When I finish writing a book, I go through it several times (my first one I edited completely at least fourteen times!). Then it takes me a day or two to get up my nerve to e-mail it to my editor. I eat lots of chocolate before I hit send.

It’s not that my editor is mean or horrible. She’s actually quite amazing. I’ve learned a lot from her. I’ve gotten better at commas (better, not perfect), I’ve learned to watch repeated words (most of the time – it’s amazing what fresh eyes on a manuscript can find!), and my story structure is getting more organized and flows more naturally. I’m improving with each book. It’s an amazing feeling, this learning and growing.

Anxiety

After the downward spiral from finishing the book, the time spent editing, the nervouseness of sending it to the editor, I find myself having chest pain. I ease off the coffee and chocolate, blaming the increased use of caffeine I used during the editing process.

Nope. Not the caffeine. When I finally get my book back from the editor and see that it doesn’t look like a scene from a bloody horror story, my chest pains go away. Stupid anxiety. I know this happens every time. And each time I try to control it, but it still rears it’s ugly head.

But it’s getting better. With each book I learn more and get more confident, and the anxiety decreases. I’ve found many other writers have anxieties throughout this process as well. I’m thankful to all of them for sharing their stories so that people like me can hear and have hope to keep on writing!

Now I’ll go enjoy some coffee and start my next project.

-Heather

 

 

#nanowrimo 2016 winning and Flow!

November 30th and I’ve finished NaNoWriMo 2016 with 50,620 words! Even though this is the fifth Nano I’ve won, it is still quite a natural high. Every time I finish a novel and write The End, I feel like I’ve just reached the summit of Mt. Everest.

This month offered a variety of challenges that threatened my nano word count. I started the month with a migraine that lasted several days and ended it with food poisoning. Also the first weekend in November my kids and grand baby moved back from Japan.

I decided that if I was going to finish (failure was not an option) I needed to maximize whatever time I could find. At work I reserved the conference room to use on my lunch hour so I had a full hour to write undisturbed. I was able to get a good 1200 -1400 words in each lunchtime.

In the evenings I never knew when I came home if my kids and grand baby would be waiting for me. So the nights I was free, I concentrated on writing as much as I could. With such small snippets of time I needed to get into the flow of writing quickly.

I’d been reading the book FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. In it he explains many concepts about flow and enjoyment of life. I noticed that getting into the flow of writing, that place where I’m totally immersed in my fictional world and can write 1200 to 5000 words in a few hours, is total enjoyment for me. Which of course, since enjoyable, encouraged me to write anytime I could find. I didn’t have any issues with so-called writer’s block, or procrastination.

Csikszentmihalyi also talks about this flow experience as not only affecting our enjoyment of life, but to our contribution to the world around us:

“Flow is important both because it makes the present instant more enjoyable, and because it builds the self-confidence that allows us to develop skills and make significant contributions to humankind.” FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

-Heather

 

 

Cyber Week FREE e-books!

CYBER WEEK DEAL!

Now on Amazon you can download Books 1-3 of my Recycling Humanity series free! The box set is free from November 28 through December 2, 2016.

The Recycling Humanity Collection contains Books 1-3: Recycling Humanity, Starlight Max, and Biolab Zeg. Start your space adventure today!


As humanity adapts to life in space, the newest high school graduates on Jupiter Station find themselves in the middle of a power struggle to lead the migration to New Earth.

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#nanowrimo DAY 11

After many days of either not being able to write or writing very little, I’ve finally caught up! November always seems to throw up roadblocks, but I guess you could say that about every month. There’s always something going on in our lives that tries to derail us from our goals. Sickness, family emergencies, holidays, household tasks, to name a few that always strike me.

The goal of Nanowrimo is to finish 50,000 words in a month. That’s a lot of words, especially if you have a day job that is not all about writing, or you have kids or family to take care of. As a legal assistant, I’m pretty mentally fried by the end of the day. But writing is important to me during all the months of the year. So I find time during lunch and breaks to write. On days when my coworkers don’t interrupt my lunch hour, I can write almost 1000 words. Then at home after dinner and some time with the family, I take another hour or two to write as well.

So set your goals, carve out time for them, and just keep going. Get back up after bad days, and don’t beat yourself up for them. We all have bad days, or days we just fall short of our goals. After being many days behind in my Nanowrimo goals, I made up for it by writing over 6000 words today. And I’m far from exhausted, I’m actually exhilarated. Because I created something, I expressed myself, and I got back on track with my goals.

Onward and upward!

-Heather

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The BIOLAB ZEG novel is available!

Today, August 10th the third novel in my Recycling Humanity young adult science fiction series comes out on Amazon! To celebrate this book launch (and my birthday!), the e-books of Recycling Humanity and Starlight Max are only 99 cents each! This special price will only be good through August 17, 2016 (in case you’re reading this in the future).

Biolab Zeg description:

A SECRET BIOLAB. DANGEROUS MERCENARIES.

ONE GIRL MUST LOSE EVERYTHING TO SAVE THE REST OF HUMANITY.

Time is running out for the last remnants of humanity. They must migrate to another solar system in order to survive. 17-year-old Sadie Kerum has been training to become an engineer and pilot, but she’s not very good at either job. Secretly, she’s found her passion working on the hidden Biolab Zeg, where Dr. Evans, a terraforming expert, is training her.

While helping rescue a shipful of orphans near Biolab Zeg, mercenaries attack Sadie’s ship. She must risk revealing her carefully held secret in order to save her precious cargo.

But the mercenaries aren’t the only dangers she must face. Sadie is soon caught in the middle of a deadly power struggle between people that want to alter humanity’s future at any cost. Only Sadie can sort through the secrets and lies to save humanity from the danger from within their own leadership.

 

I hope you enjoy these novels as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them! If you want to know what’s coming up next in the Recycling Humanity universe (I’ve got more exciting plans in the works), and get a free short story (which I won an Honorable Mention for in the Writers of the Future contest!) – then sign up for my newsletter at my website www.heatherleeyder.com or e-mail me at author@heatherleedyer.com and let me know you want to be added to my newsletter and updates.

-Heather

Recycling Humanity Awesome New Covers!

In 2015 when I published Recycling Humanity and Starlight Max, it was only going to be the two books in the series. I didn’t want to do a trilogy since I have issues with odd numbers (I know, right?). But I’ve had many readers requesting more stories in the Recycling Humanity universe, and I love the characters and the world they’re surviving in, so I’ve decided to write at least two more books. Four is a great number! 

The third book in the series will be coming out this July 2016. To celebrate and prepare for its launch, we’ve created all new covers! When I originally was going to have only the two books we did a special photo shoot with an amazing model for the cover. It was an incredible experience to go through the whole process. But now that I’ve introduced at least two more books to the series, I need covers that will all go together. And my graphic artist did an awesome job! Such fun!

Hope you enjoy these covers! I’ll have news of #3 soon!

-Heather LeeRecyclingHumanity-BNStarlightMax-BN